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Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Sanhedrin 68


(a) (Mishnah - R. Akiva citing R. Yehoshua): Two people can gather gourds; one is liable...
(b) Question: R. Akiva learned this from R. Eliezer!
1. (Beraisa): R. Eliezer fell sick, R. Akiva and his colleagues came to visit, they were in another room. It was Erev Shabbos; Hurkanos came to take off the Tefilin of his father R. Eliezer, who angrily sent him away.
i. Hurkanos (to Chachamim): I think that my father (is about to die, he) lost his wits (he does not agree to take off his Tefilin before Shabbos)!
ii. R. Eliezer: No, my son and my wife lost their wits - they are more worried about a mid'Rabanan law (wearing Tefilin on Shabbos) than things for which one is stoned (they should first finish cooking the food and light the Shabbos candles)!
2. Chachamim saw that his mind was sound, they entered and sat four Amos away from him (because he had been excommunicated).
3. R. Eliezer: Why did you come?
4. Chachamim: To learn Torah from you!
5. R. Eliezer: Why didn't you come before?!
6. Chachamim: We did not have time.
7. R. Eliezer: Surely, you will (be punished for not coming before, you will) not die natural deaths!
8. R. Akiva: How will I die?
9. R. Eliezer: Your death will be worse than theirs! I am like a closed Sefer Torah (that people did not open it to learn from it).
i. I learned much from my Rebbi'im, but it was like a dog licking water from the ocean (compared to what they knew);
ii. I taught much, but it was like a stick inserted in a tube of eye-liner (it absorbs a tiny amount of what is there, i.e. of what I know).
iii. I know 300 laws of a bright Baheres (appearance of Tzara'as), no one ever asked me about them!
iv. I know 300 (some say, 3000) laws of planting gourds (through Kishuf), R. Akiva is the only one who ever asked me about them!
v. Once we were walking together, he asked me to teach him about planting gourds. I said something, the field became full of gourds. He asked me about uprooting gourds; I said something, they all gathered to one place.
10. Question (Chachamim): Do the following receive Tum'ah (all are covered with leather)?
i. A ball of wool, a mold (for making shoes), an amulet, a holder for a pearl, a small weight.
11. Answer (R. Eliezer): (I hold that) they can receive Tum'ah;
i. If they are torn (Chachamim agree that they can receive Tum'ah, I hold that) they may be immersed as they are (the inside is not a Chatzitzah).
12. Question (Chachamim): Does a shoe that (was made and) is still on the mold receive Tum'ah?
13. Answer (R. Eliezer): It is Tahor.
i. R. Eliezer dying word was 'Tahor'. R. Yehoshua announced that the excommunication was lifted.
ii. They carried his coffin from Keisari to Lud, R. Akiva was wounding himself, his blood was spilling on the ground;
iii. He said "Avi Avi Rechev Yisrael" - I have many coins, and no moneychanger to look at them (i.e. no one else can answer my questions)!
14. Summation of question: R. Akiva learned the law of planting gourds from R. Eliezer, why does he cite it in R. Yehoshua's name?
(c) Answer: He learned it from R. Eliezer, but did not understand it;
1. After he learned it from R. Yehoshua, he understood it.
(d) Question: How could R. Eliezer do acts of Kishuf?!
1. (Mishnah): If he does an act of Kishuf, he is liable.
(e) Answer: This does not apply if it is done in order to learn or teach the laws of Kishuf.
1. (Beraisa): "Lo Silmad La'asos (do not learn how to do Kishuf)" - but you may learn in order to understand and give Halachic rulings.



(a) (Mishnah): A boy can become a Ben Sorer u'Moreh from the time he brings two hairs (after 13 years) until his beard fills out;
1. This refers to the lower (i.e. pubic) beard, not the upper one - Chachamim use a clean language.
(b) We learn from "Ki Yihyeh l'Ish *Ben*" - a son, not a daughter; a son, not an adult.
1. A minor is exempt for he is not yet obligated to guard Mitzvos.
(c) (Gemara) Question: What is the source that a minor is exempt?
1. Question #1: The Mishnah explicitly says, he is not yet obligated to guard Mitzvos!
2. Question #2: Why should we think that he is liable, that we ask for a source to exempt him?
3. Answer: A Ben Sorer u'Moreh is not killed for his sin, rather, because of his future (if he would live, he would sin much more) - therefore, one might have thought that even a minor is killed;
i. Also, 'a son, not an adult' connotes a minor.
(d) Answer (Rav Yehudah): "Ki Yihyeh l'Ish Ben" - a son approaching the might of a man (the beginning of his adulthood).
(e) (Mishnah): ...Until his lower beard fills out.
(f) (Beraisa - R. Chiya): Until the Ever is surrounded by hair.
(g) (Rav Dimi): The Ever itself must be surrounded, the Beitzim need not be.
(h) (Rav Chisda): If a minor fathered a son, that son cannot become a Ben Sorer u'Moreh - "Ki Yihyeh *l'Ish* Ben", not if a minor has a son.
(i) Question: We need this to teach Rav Yehudah's law (above)!
(j) Answer: Had the Torah said 'Ki Yihyeh Ben l'Ish', we would only learn Rav Yehudah's law;
1. Rather, it says "Ki Yihyeh l'Ish Ben" to teach Rav Chisda's law as well.
(k) Question: Perhaps it only comes to teach Rav Chisda's law!
1. Rather, it says "L'Ish Ben" to teach Rav Yehudah's law as well.
(l) Rav Chisda argues with Rabah.
1. (Rabah): A minor cannot father children - "V'Im Ein la'Ish Go'el".
2. Question: Is there a Yisrael who does not have a Go'el (a relative who inherits him, who is commanded to redeem him (from slavery))?
3. Answer: The verse must refer to (one who stole from) a convert - it teaches, one must investigate whether or not an Ish has a Go'el (perhaps he fathered children), one need not investigate a minor (he cannot have children).
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